Alaska Man Charged in 'Horrific' Assault
FAIRBANKS, Alaska — A Fairbanks man is accused of viciously beating his wife after she stabbed him in the thigh in what she claims was self-defense during an argument early Monday morning.Robert Cronkhite, 24, was arraigned on two counts of felony assault on Monday in Fairbanks District Court. Calling the allegations in the criminal complaint detailing the beating “nothing short of horrific,” Magistrate Nikole Schick set Cronkhite's bail at $5,000. He is being held at Fairbanks Correctional Center. According to charging documents, Fairbanks police responded to Bassett Army Hospital at around 1:30 a.m. after receiving a report that a woman had been beaten up by her husband. Police interviewed the woman, who had a swollen face, swollen eyes and swollen lips, as well as dried blood on her face and a broken finger. The woman told police she and Cronkhite had been arguing on Sunday and he had been drinking heavily. At one point, he began throwing things at her and charged her, prompting her to grab a steak knife and stab Cronkhite in the left thigh. After she stabbed him, the 5-foot 11, 200-pound Cronkhite became angrier and proceeded to drag the woman, who is 5 feet 3 and weighs 105 pounds, around the apartment by her hair, the documents stated. He choked her with both his hands until she passed out, the woman said. It was not the first time Cronkhite has choked her during the five months they have been married she told police. When the woman regained consciousness, she told police Cronkhite was kicking her in the back with a pair of Rocky boots. While he was kicking her, Cronkhite allegedly told the woman, "you will die tonight;" and "I'm not gonna stop until my leg stops hurting." The woman said she begged Cronkhite to call 911, to which he replied, "I'll kill you first," according to court documents. She told police the assault went on for an hour. The woman was finally able to crawl to her room and call her military supervisor for help. An officer investigated the apartment where the alleged assault took place and found a large clump of hair on the kitchen floor and a blood smear on the kitchen floor with long hair follicles in the blood. Police seized a pair of boots from Cronkhite that appeared to have blood on the inside portion of one boot. Before the stabbing incident, the woman told police Cronkhite had shoved her face in the couch, causing bruises to her right elbow and wrist. The woman said she bit Cronkhite on the arm during that assault.